How to get from Sofia Airport to the European Capital of Culture 2019 and back for an early or late flight


In one of our previous articles, we thoroughly introduced you to traveling from Sofia Airport to Plovdiv. The majority of those arriving in the city under the hills land in the capital, mainly because of the airport's numerous connections with a number of cities. At Plovdiv Airport, the only regular routes are still London (Stansted) and Tel Aviv.

Some of the flights, however, are low-cost airlines with a rather inconvenient timetable. The last bus to Plovdiv is at 8:30 pm and the train is at 10:55 pm. The first ones are usually after 6 am, and for the earliest take-offs, this is the time when you should already be at the check-in. Arrivals or departures to the airport in these cases often make it difficult for tourists to find travel options.

The first is renting a car in case you are a driver and don’t have a problem with driving in unfamiliar places. The road from Sofia to Plovdiv is just a highway and the distance is about 120 km. There are a number of well-known international companies at Sofia Airport, from where you can rent a car. Their working hours are from 6 am to midnight and are located immediately after passport and customs control. If you decide to travel by car and then return this way, please note that parking in the central city of Plovdiv is subject to additional fees. The more remote hotels have parking lots, but those in the very center cannot guarantee you a place to put your vehicle.

Another option is to rent a taxi. If you are coming for the first time, you can request the service at the offices of the taxi company that operates the airport. They are located in the arrivals lounge at both terminals. Taxi cars can also be found outside the parking lot, which will lead you to the yellow line on the floor. We recommend that you do not use taxi services offered outside the office of the taxi company or in front of the terminal because of the potential scammers. Usually, the price for a course to Plovdiv is about 120-130 BGN, but sometimes it can be a matter of negotiation. Upon returning to the airport you will need to rent a taxi again from Plovdiv. We wrote more about the companies in the City under the hills in this article.

The last option is to book your transfer in advance, and a company representative will be waiting for you at the arrival lounge. True drivers is a taxi company established in 2012 in the city of Plovdiv. The company performs only and exclusively long-distance taxi services (minimum mileage – 30 km). All drivers have years of experience behind the wheel and speak English. You can request a different class of car as well as for a larger number of passengers. With them, you can also request additional extras such as a child seat. Ordinary taxis are not equipped with these. These types of companies also offer transfers to various places in Bulgaria if you want to explore not only the big cities but also take time for sights such as the Rila Lakes or a visit to the seaside towns.

For all other occasions when flights are at a convenient time, do not hesitate to use a bus or even rail. Connections between the capital and the second-largest city are frequent and there are enough vehicles.